Thursday 7 January 2021

All students email

Safety net update 7 Jan 2021

Dear student

As we enter this period of lockdown I am acutely aware of the challenges facing many of our students and the increasing anxiety over exams and assessments. I listen to your feedback and consult on a regular basis with your students’ unions to consider the best ways in which to offer you advice and support.

Many of you have been asking if we can offer a ‘safety net’ for exams and assessments in the same way we did last academic year. The method of calculating last year’s safety net score relied on students having the results from University assessments already taken. Because this information does not exist for most students studying in the 2020-21 academic year, we are not able to replicate the same style of safety net.

Instead, we have created a package of measures to safeguard your achievements from the impacts of Covid and the quality and integrity of your degree. It is therefore a safety net by other means.

The new assessment support package - our 2021 ‘safety net’

The main features of this package are:

  • Removing the requirements for evidence where students are making applications under the exceptional circumstances affecting assessment (ECA) policy

  • Adapting our approach to delivering teaching, learning and assessments online

  • Reviewing the performance of student cohorts this year against previous years to ensure that the pandemic has not had a detrimental impact

  • Establishing a significantly more generous resit possibility for first year students to support their progression into second year

  • Reweighting this year’s marks for students in second year and above so that this year can be weighted less in the calculation of overall degree performance

  • Applying the more flexible award rules which were used to give assurance to postgraduate taught students in 2020

For more information and to read the more detailed rules on these features, please visit the Covid-19 webpage.

I hope this package of measures lessens your anxiety over the coming months and reassures you that we can, and will, take into account the ongoing impact the pandemic may be having on your studies.

Best wishes